Ed: 34: December/2009
How is it possible that a US administration that came to office committed to the pursuit of Arab-Israeli peacemaking is today further from even getting the parties to talk with each other than at almost any point since the peace process began at the Madrid conference more than 18 years ago?
The scene is currently being set by the Palestinians for a strong and even dramatic point of entry into either bilateral negotiations or perhaps a sharp diplomatic turn toward a unilateral strategy for Palestinian statehood.
The Francop was seized after being stopped, boarded, and searched by Israeli naval commandos supported by surface naval units. The preliminary search revealed arms hidden in commercial cargo containers.
The biggest threat emanating from Somalia comes from a different source: an ongoing lack of internal order has left the country vulnerable to the rise of hard-line Islamist groups, of which the latest is al-Shabaab (the youth), which rose from obscurity to international prominence in less than two years.